When hiring professionals for clinical documentation improvement (CDI) programs, managers seek candidates with a background in both clinical and health information management (HIM) knowledge—challenging a common perception that a clinical background alone is sufficient, according to a recent survey by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).
Respondents also said that while registered nurse and certified coding specialist are the most frequently required credentials, one of the highest preferred is AHIMA’s certified documentation improvement practitioner (CDIP) credential, indicating a growing understanding of the value and need for a higher level of educational certification, according to the research.
The article, “The State of CDI,” in the April issue of the Journal of AHIMA, analyzes key takeaways from the AHIMA survey conducted by the AHIMA Clinical Documentation Improvement Practice Council and performed to identify the current landscape and practices in the CDI industry.
The survey examined the type of organizations where CDI employees work, the departments under which teams are managed, professional backgrounds and the common credentials of CDI professionals.
Results found that most CDI programs fall under the HIM department. More than half of survey respondents also stated they hire HIM and certified coding professionals for positions in their CDI programs.
“The advancement of CDI programs and practices is essential to the delivery of quality patient care,” said AHIMA CEO Wylecia Wiggs Harris, PhD, CAE. “The survey results show that not only do managers in these programs understand CDI professionals must have both a coding and clinical background, but that it’s becoming increasingly important for these professionals to have advanced credentials. With their knowledge and experience, HIM professionals are well positioned to lead the CDI path forward.”
The survey also examined the type of health records reviewed by CDI programs, with inpatient records accounting for the majority. The second-highest was a combination of inpatient, outpatient and professional records reaffirming that the industry is beginning to shift toward CDI reviews of outpatient health records. Full survey results are available to members here.
Seeking to recognize a healthcare delivery organization that takes an outstanding and innovative approach to health information management (HIM), the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) is calling for applications for the eighth annual Grace Award.
Interested applicants can submit their entries via ahima.org/grace through May 31.
Ninety years ago, Grace Whiting Myers acted on a sincere conviction to improve the quality of our nation’s health records by founding the association now known as AHIMA. The idea was simple–that advancements in the collection and organization of health information will invariably help to improve public health. As a tribute to Myers’ prescient vision, AHIMA’s annual HIM award bears her name: The Grace Award.
Past winners of the Grace Award regularly demonstrated transformative journeys toward new and innovative HIM practices that also delivered better patient outcomes.
“AHIMA is excited to open nominations for an organization that is taking innovative and novel approaches to using HIM to deliver high-quality care to patients,” said AHIMA CEO Wylecia Wiggs Harris, PhD, CAE. “This process furthers an industry dialogue about innovation and excellence and invites us to learn from each other.”
The 2019 award will be presented at AHIMA’s Health Data and Information Conference in Chicago, September 14-18.
A committee of judges, representing healthcare delivery organizations, health information professionals and HIM associations, selects the Grace Award. This year’s judges are:
(CHAIR) Sandra Pearson, RHIA, CHDA, MHA, CPEHR, CDI & Data Governance Director, SCL Health